Sauti za Busara music festival will take a step back on the first day of the festival, February 14, to let the very famous Stone Town shine.
This is the first day of ‘Busara Xtra’ – a day where Stone Town businesses hurl open their doors to display art, drumming and dance classes, music, and a sunset reggae party.
The Sober House will hold a daily art exhibition at Livingstone’s Restaurant from Valentine’s Day and continuing throughout the festival. Artworks made by recovering addicts and alcoholics will be displayed at the exhibit on the morning.
Festival Director Yusuf Mahmoud says they’ve always made it a point to use the festival to benefit Zanzibaris. Since the festival began in 2004, he says, the number of visitors to the island has gone up by almost 500%.
Organisers explain that Busara Xtra is another way the festival will contribute to the economic and cultural life of the island.
“Busara Xtra increases opportunities for regional artists to showcase their work, for visitors to see different parts of the island, meet local people and widen participation in the festival by local communities in Zanzibar,” adds Mahmoud.
After warming up for the festival with Busara Xtra, Sauti za Busara’s main stage opens on 15 February and hosts performers for three days, with an open air cinema running films that complement the tunes.
Tickets are Tsh3,000 for Tanzanians with special rates for East African residents.